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Stadium to be ready by season

LCHS graduation may be on field

POSTED: March 10, 2007 5:10 a.m.
As the bulldozers tear on, the faculty, staff and students of Liberty County High School look to the future, as a new football field will soon become a fixture of Panther pride.
The high school along with the Liberty County Board of Education anticipate that the construction of the field, bleachers and parking lot will be completed by May 1, which would allow them to conduct this year’s graduation ceremony at the new stadium (which remains unnamed).   
Laura Hanning, James Buckley and Associates’ project manager and director of codes, said they are negotiating with a Texas-based company named Sturdysteel Co. on this $4 million project that was funded by the BOE.
“Superintendent Dr. Steve Wilmoth and Hanning agree that the entire stadium will have a completion date for the latter part of the summer, either in late July or early to mid August so the football team can begin next year’s season at the field.
“All in all, we have been waiting for this field since the school was built 16 years ago,” LCHS athletic director Willie Graham said. “We had to play on the Bradwell Institute’s Olvey Field, and soon we will have a brand new stadium of our own.”
Graham said that he and football head coach Kirk Warner collaborated on how the field would be built.  For instance, they had issues with the security at Olvey field, which included the criticism that the stands are too close to the bench and field and how that could be a disruption during the game.
“Two years ago Coach Warner and I took a drive to area high schools like South Effingham to help us decide how we wanted our stadium to look so we could take the best of what’s around in the area in order to help build a solid stadium,” Graham said. “But other than that, we are just excited about how much the students will enjoy it.”
Warner said the field will hold 6,000 people to bring in as many fans as possible, but also to have the regulation capacity in order to host playoff games.
“From my point of view as a coach, it will be a good motivating tool to remind the kids that the opponents we face will have to come into our house and take the victory away from us,” Warner said. “And I think that this field will generate an atmosphere for better football within our team.”
Wilmoth echoes that sentiment.
“I believe it will be a morale booster, and I think it will give the school an identity” he said. “It will also be a great addition for our students as well for our community.”
 

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